On this beautiful day, Keith, Holly and myself loaded up the car and headed out on the highway to enjoy the hour+ drive up to Nipika Lodge for the inaugral Crazy Soles Nipika Trail Race. We got to enjoy a drive on highway 93 south, which is the highway that crosses through the entire lenth of Kootenay National Park! It is glorious and we were stoked. This time of year, bears are a common sight and we got a kick out of these folks who we spotted on the side of the highway:
Ummmmm.....hello Mr. Dumbass!! Anyhow, I thought I would share that with you. But back to the race....
It is always fun to be part of an inaugral event, especially a trail race. The Crazy Soles Nipika Trail Race was a brand new event, with a 10k, a 22k and the full 42k marathon. We would love to convince them to try an ultra, the venue would be perfect to string together a couple of 25km laps, with the lodge being the centre of all of the action!
Nipika Resort is a very special place bordering Kootenay National Park, with 1,500 acres of really beautiful scenery and 100's of kilometres of trails to enjoy! You can stay there too. The cabins are fantastic and a perfect escape anytime. Last year, we enjoyed a couple of days with my mom in the wheelchair accessible cabin. We enjoyed the scenery and smells of nature, just by sitting on the veranda! I've enjoyed staying in winter, as well. The cross country trails are out of this world, immaculately maintained and of course, you have your cozy cabin and fireplace to come back to at the end of a cold day! Aaaaaah....sweet Nipika. If you want a special holiday spot, this place is paradise!
Anyhow, when I found out they were having a race I had to come out to support this inaugral event. We only found out about the race a couple of weeks ago, but there were still 5 of us who came to race spontaneously. Personally, I was thrilled and excited because my husband agreed to come out and run the 22k race!! We were also joined by our friend Holly, who was also super excited to be running on some new trails, with friends, in a beautiful place.
It was agreed that we would all run together, under the condition that I wouldn't tell Keith what to do or when to do it. For any other novice trail running friend, this passing of information would be considered "useful advice", but for a partner it would be construed as "bossiness". So, with that caveat in place, off we went to the races!
Hugh and Ken were there, ready to take on the marathon after some solid running at last weeks Blackfoot Ultra! They took lots of pictures, too. There were others from Banff and Canmore, like Grace Klassen and Phil Villneuve ,who I look forward to getting to know better! Jamie and Tasha Nott were there, with their 2 year old Kael who would be running the 3km kids course. 3km!! Kael was by far the smallest competitor and his race number was #1. Too cute.
I let Keith and Holly set the pace and I fell behind and took photos. Lots of photos! It was so much fun! I was really pleased and surprised at how fast Keith and Holly were going, I was really in awe of how much they both have improved. We were having so much fun on one section of single track, that Keith actually ran head first into a log at head level. He had his head down and was looking at the trail and Hollys butt when he connected. The force knocked him flat on his ass, but being a boy he stood right up and said "I'm O.K!!", hitting the log again with his melon. Hee-hee. After making sure he was "O.K" we continued running....
I knew the scenery would be awesome, but the best surprise was that there was a lot more single-track than I had anticipated! It was gorgeous and challenging and twisty-turny. We got to run beside the Kootenay River and the Cross River, as well as scrambling up and down the river valley walls quite a few times. The color of the water was incredible this time of year and it was raging as spring run off continues to flow. We had pretty warm temperatures and got to enjoy our special day on the trails in sweeeet sunshine! Aaaah! It just feels so good this time of year!
The scenery kept Keith and Holly moving, the trail was so engaging that they had ripped through 19k before they knew it. I was still stopping and starting, and chasing and sprinting back and forth, enjoying the scenery and taking pictures.
We were having a little lull, when the finish line caught us by surprise! I love it when that happens!! Keith and Holly were super-stars, I was in awe of how well they did. They finished strong and happy and had were having waaaaay too much fun out there!
The run-with-your-husband experiment went extremely well and I was stoked and proud to be running with my honey! The lovely Holly was a pleasure as always and probably helped keep Hubby/Wifey tensions to non-existant. Yay for friends and thanks to Keith and Holly for a great adventure! You guys were awesome!
VIEW ALL PHOTOS OF NIPIKA HERE!